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Chapter 2: Introduction

to Switched Networks

Routing and Switching

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Chapter 2
2.0 Introduction
2.1 Basic Switch Configuration
2.2 Switch Security: Management and Implementation

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Chapter 2: Objectives
Upon completion of this chapter, you will be able to:
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of static routing.
Configure initial settings on a Cisco switch.

Configure switch ports to meet network requirements.


Configure the management switch virtual interface.
Describe basic security attacks in a switched environment.

Describe security best practices in a switched environment.


Configure the port security feature to restrict network access.

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Basic Switch Configuration

Switch Boot Sequence


1. Power-on self test (POST).
2. Run boot loader software.
3. Boot loader performs low-level CPU initialization.
4. Boot loader initializes the flash file system
5. Boot loader locates and loads a default IOS operating system
software image into memory and passes control of the switch
over to the IOS.

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Basic Switch Configuration

Switch Boot Sequence (cont.)


To find a suitable Cisco IOS image, the switch goes through the
following steps:
Step 1. It attempts to automatically boot by using information in the
BOOT environment variable.

Step 2. If this variable is not set, the switch performs a top-to-bottom


search through the flash file system. It loads and executes
the first executable file, if it can.
Step 3. The IOS software then initializes the interfaces using the
Cisco IOS commands found in the configuration file and
startup configuration, which is stored in NVRAM.
Note: The boot system command can be used to set the BOOT
environment variable.

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Basic Switch Configuration

Recovering from a System Crash


The boot loader can also be used to manage the switch if the IOS
cannot be loaded.
The boot loader can be accessed through a console connection by:
1. Connecting a PC by console cable to the switch console port.
Unplug the switch power cord.
2. Reconnecting the power cord to the switch and press and hold
the Mode button.
3. The System LED turns briefly amber and then solid green.
Release the Mode button.
The boot loader switch:prompt appears in the terminal emulation
software on the PC.

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Basic Switch Configuration

Switch LED Indicators


Each port on Cisco Catalyst switches have status LED indicator
lights.
By default, these LED lights reflect port activity, but they can also
provide other information about the switch through the Mode
button.
The following modes are available on Cisco Catalyst 2960
switches:
System LED

Redundant Power System (RPS) LED


Port Status LED
Port Duplex LED

Port Speed LED


Power over Ethernet (PoE) Mode LED
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Basic Switch Configuration

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Switch Modes

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Basic Switch Configuration

Preparing for Basic Switch Management


To remotely manage a Cisco switch, it must be configured to
access the network.
An IP address and a subnet mask must be configured.
If managing the switch from a remote network, a default gateway
must also be configured.
The IP information (address, subnet mask, gateway) is to be
assigned to a switch switch virtual interface (SVI).
Although these IP settings allow remote management and remote
access to the switch, they do not allow the switch to route Layer 3
packets.

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Basic Switch Configuration

Preparing for Basic Switch Management


(cont.)

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Basic Switch Configuration

Preparing for Basic Switch Management


(cont.)

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Configuring Switch Ports

Duplex Communication

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Configuring Switch Ports

Duplex Communication
Full-Duplex

Full-duplex communication improves the performance of a


switched LAN.
Full-duplex communication increases effective bandwidth by
allowing both ends of a connection to transmit and receive data
simultaneously.
Half-Duplex
Half-duplex communication is unidirectional.
Half-duplex communication creates performance issues because
data can flow in only one direction at a time, often resulting in
collisions.

Half-duplex connections are typically seen in older hardware, such


as hubs.
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Configuring Switch Ports

Configuring Switch Ports at the Physical


Layer

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Configuring Switch Ports

Auto-MDIX Feature
Certain cable types (straight-through or crossover) were historically
required when connecting devices.
The automatic medium-dependent interface crossover (auto-MDIX)
feature eliminates this problem.
When auto-MDIX is enabled, the interface automatically detects
and appropriately configures the connection.
When using auto-MDIX on an interface, the interface speed and
duplex must be set to auto.

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Configuring Switch Ports

Auto-MDIX Feature (cont.)

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Configuring Switch Ports

Auto-MDIX Feature (cont.)

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Configuring Switch Ports

Verifying Switch Port Configuration

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Configuring Switch Ports

Network Access Layer Issues

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Configuring Switch Ports

Network Access Layer Issues (cont.)

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Configuring Switch Ports

Troubleshooting Switch Media


(Connection) Issues

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Secure Remote Access

SSH Operation
Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol that provides a secure
(encrypted), command-line based connection to a remote device.
SSH is commonly used in UNIX-based systems.

The Cisco IOS software also supports SSH.


A version of the IOS software, including cryptographic (encrypted)
features and capabilities, is required to enable SSH on Catalyst
2960 switches.
Because its strong encryption features, SSH should replace Telnet
for management connections.
SSH uses TCP port 22, by default. Telnet uses TCP port 23.

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Secure Remote Access

SSH Operation (cont.)

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Secure Remote Access

Configuring SSH

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Secure Remote Access

Verifying SSH

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Security Concerns in LANs

MAC Address Flooding


Switches automatically populate their CAM tables by watching
traffic entering their ports.
Switches forward traffic trough all ports if it cannot find the
destination MAC in its CAM table.
Under such circumstances, the switch acts as a hub. Unicast traffic
can be seen by all devices connected to the switch.

An attacker could exploit this behavior to gain access to traffic


normally controlled by the switch by using a PC to run a MAC
flooding tool.
Such tool is a program created to generate and send out frames
with bogus source MAC addresses to the switch port.
As these frames reach the switch, it adds the bogus MAC address
to its CAM table, taking note of the port the frames arrived.

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Security Concerns in LANs

MAC Address Flooding (cont.)


Eventually the CAM table fills out with bogus MAC addresses.
The CAM table now has no room for legit devices present in the
network and, therefore, never finds their MAC addresses in the
CAM table.

All frames are now forwarded to all ports, allowing the attacker to
access traffic to other hosts.

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Security Concerns in LANs

MAC Address Flooding (cont.)


An attacker flooding the CAM table with bogus entries.

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Security Concerns in LANs

MAC Address Flooding (cont.)


The switch now behaves as a hub.

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Security Concerns in LANs

DHCP Spoofing
DHCP is a network protocol used to automatically assign IP
information.
Two types of DHCP attacks are:

DHCP spoofing
DHCP starvation
In DHCP spoofing attacks, a fake DHCP server is placed in the
network to issue DHCP addresses to clients.
DHCP starvation is often used before a DHCP spoofing attack to
deny service to the legitimate DHCP server.

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Security Concerns in LANs

DHCP Spoof Attack

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Security Concerns in LANs

Leveraging Cisco Discovery Protocol


The Cisco Discovery Protocol is a Layer 2 Cisco proprietary
protocol used to discover other directly connected Cisco devices.
The Cisco Discovery Protocol is designed to allow the devices to
auto-configure their connections.
If an attacker is listening to Cisco Discovery Protocol messages, it
could learn important information about the device model and
running software version.
Note: Cisco recommends disabling CDP when not in use.

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Security Concerns in LANs

Leveraging Telnet
The Telnet protocol is insecure and should be replaced by SSH.
An attacker can use Telnet as part of other attacks:

Brute force password attack


Telnet DOS attack
When passwords cannot be captured, attackers will try as many
combinations of characters as possible. This attempt to guess the
password is known as brute force password attack.
Telnet can be used to test the guessed password against the system.

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Security Concerns in LANs

Leveraging Telnet (cont.)


In a Telnet DoS attack, the attacker exploits a flaw in the Telnet
server software running on the switch that renders the Telnet
service unavailable.

This sort of attack prevents an administrator from remotely


accessing switch management functions.
This can be combined with other direct attacks on the network as
part of a coordinated attempt to prevent the network administrator
from accessing core devices during the breach.
Vulnerabilities in the Telnet service that permit DoS attacks to
occur are usually addressed in security patches that are included
in newer Cisco IOS revisions.

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Security Best Practices

10 Best Practices
Develop a written security policy for the organization.
Shut down unused services and ports.
Use strong passwords and change them often.

Control physical access to devices.


Use HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Perform backup operations on a regular basis.

Educate employees about social engineering attacks.


Encrypt and password-protect sensitive data.
Implement firewalls.

Keep software up-to-date.

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Security Best Practices

Network Security Tools: Options


Network security tools are important to network administrators.
Network security tools allow an administrator to test the strength of
the security measures implemented.
An administrator can launch an attack against the network and
analyze the results. This is also to determine how to adjust security
policies to mitigate those types of attacks.
Security auditing and penetration testing are two basic functions
that network security tools perform.

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Security Best Practices

Network Security Tools: Audits


Network security tools can be used to audit the network.
By monitoring the network, an administrator can assess what type of
information an attacker would be able to gather. For example, by
attacking and flooding the CAM table of a switch, an administrator
learn which switch ports are vulnerable to MAC flooding and can
correct the issue.
Network security tools can also be used as penetration test tools.
Penetration testing is a simulated attack and helps to determine how
vulnerable the network is when under a real attack.
Weaknesses within the configuration of networking devices can be
identified based on penetration test results.
Changes can be made to make the devices more resilient to attacks.
Such tests can damage the network and should be carried out under
very controlled conditions.
An offline test bed network that mimics the actual production network is
ideal.
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Switch Port Security

Secure Unused Ports


Disabling unused ports is a simple, yet efficient security guideline.

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Switch Port Security

DHCP Snooping
DHCP Snooping specifies which switch ports can respond to
DHCP requests

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Switch Port Security

Port Security: Operation


Port security limits the number of valid MAC addresses allowed on
a port.
The MAC addresses of legitimate devices are allowed access,
while other MAC addresses are denied.
Any additional attempts to connect by unknown MAC addresses
generate a security violation.

Secure MAC addresses can be configured in a number of ways:


Static secure MAC addresses
Dynamic secure MAC addresses

Sticky secure MAC addresses

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Switch Port Security

Port Security: Violation Modes


IOS considers a security violation when either of these situations
occurs:
The maximum number of secure MAC addresses for that
interface have been added to the CAM, and a station whose
MAC address is not in the address table attempts to access
the interface.
An address learned or configured on one secure interface is
seen on another secure interface in the same VLAN.
There are three possible actions to take when a violation is
detected:

Protect
Restrict
Shutdown

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Switch Port Security

Dynamic Port Security Defaults

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Switch Port Security

Configuring Dynamic Port Security

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Switch Port Security

Configuring Port Security Sticky

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Switch Port Security

Verifying Port Security Sticky

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Switch Port Security

Verifying Port Security Stick Running


Configuration

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Switch Port Security

Verifying Port Security Secure MAC


Addresses

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Switch Port Security

Ports in Error Disabled State


A port security violation can put a switch in error disabled state.
A port in error disabled is effectively shutdown.

The switch communicates these events through console


messages.

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Switch Port Security

Ports in Error Disabled State (cont.)


The show interface command also reveals a switch port on
error disabled state.

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Switch Port Security

Ports in Error Disabled State (cont.)


A shutdown or no shutdown interface configuration mode
command must be issued to re-enable the port.

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Switch Port Security

Network Time Protocol


The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is used to synchronize the
clocks of computer systems data networks.
NTP can get the correct time from an internal or external time
source.
Time sources can be:
Local master clock

Master clock on the Internet


GPS or atomic clock
A network device can be configured as either an NTP server or an
NTP client.
See slide notes for more information on NTP.

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Switch Port Security

Configuring NTP

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Switch Port Security

Verifying NTP

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Chapter 2: Summary
In this chapter, you learned:
Cisco LAN switch boot sequence.
Cisco LAN switch LED modes.

How to remotely access and manage a Cisco LAN switch through a


secure connection.
Cisco LAN switch port duplex modes.
Cisco LAN switch port security, violation modes, and actions.
Best practices for switched networks.

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